The training period for K-Pop idol can vary immensely, with some idols only training for a few months before debuting while others go through years, sometimes over a decade, of training before they can step onto the stage. It all just depends on the company, the trainee’s skillset, and other factors. The following 5 female idols all trained for an extremely long time — all of them 8 years or more — before they debuted in their respective groups. That’s over 1/3 of the lives of almost all of them! It’s incredible to know how dedicated they were to become idols, and they should definitely be recognized for their hard work.
5. Miyeon ((G)I-DLE)
Miyeon, the 23-year-old main vocalist and visual of (G)I-DLE, trained for 8 years under three different companies! She first spent 5 years with YG Entertainment, likely preparing to debut with BLACKPINK, before she moved on to a vocal academy to train for another 2 years. Finally, she spent one more year training under her now-company Cube Entertainment, where she finally debuted with (G)I-DLE in May of 2018.
4. Soobin (Cosmic Girls)
Soobin, the 23-year-old main vocalist of Cosmic Girls, also trained for 8 years before she debuted. This talented singer spent those 8 years under her current company, Starship Entertainment, before she debuted with Cosmic Girls in February of 2016. This means she started training when she was around 12 years old!
3. Xiyeon (former Pristin)
Unfortunately, Xiyeon is no longer active as an idol due to Pristin’s disbandment, but before they did, the 19-year-old acted as the group’s lead vocalist, lead dancer, lead rapper, visual, and center — a lot of titles for one person! Considering she trained under Pledis Entertainment for about 9 years, it’s not too surprising she became skilled in so many areas. She now works as an actress, but hopefully she can put her musical skills to use again someday.
2. SeolA (Cosmic Girls)
SeolA is the 25-year-old lead vocalist of Cosmic Girls, and spent a total of about 10 years as a trainee. She first started her training at Media Line Entertainment before she moved on to finish and debut under Starship Entertainment, and also appeared in music videos by BOYFRIEND, Mad Clown, and others previous to her debuting with Cosmic Girls.
1. Jihyo (TWICE)
And finally, Jihyo, TWICE’s 23-year-old leader and main vocalist, is known to be the female idol with the longest trainee period of over 10 years. She started her trainee period as a 3rd grader under JYP Entertainment, after she placed 2nd on Junior Naver. It’s hard to imagine someone starting their career at such an incredibly young age! Of course, now she’s a much-loved member of an extremely successful group, so it was well worth it.